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The best child support is STILL equal parenting.

Society has taken away the love and joy of parenting and replaced it with hate and despair; by turning children into bargaining chips.

The best child support is equal parenting

In 2019 I started the Equal Parenting Campaign with the tagline; The Best Child Support is Equal Parenting. The long-running campaign has been highly successful and featured in many publications as well as helping PAPA reach many people suffering worldwide.

It's very likely you'll already know all about the Equal Parenting Campaign but giving the timing of some of the CMS coming under fire, it seemed appropriate to revisit our best performing campaign and why we started it.

The Equal Parenting Campaign

The campaign was started in order to encourage both parents to take equal responsibility of their children and to discourage people from weaponising their children as a means to gain financial control over the other parent.

The campaign started with me putting up signs in towns and cities around the country with the slogan: The best child support is equal parenting', along with the PAPA logo. The idea being to promote equal opportunities for both parents and to make it easier for children to have a strong relationship with both parents.

Child support payments should only be considered a last resort when a parent is unwilling to have a shared/equal arrangement with their child.

The issue is we continue to live in a society where we have systems in place that uses children for monetary gain and in some cases; extortion. Children are not bargaining tools. Good and loving parents should not have to pay in order to see their children. There's essentially a 'paywall' involved and good parents are punished twice when they are stopped from seeing their children, as they not only have to suffer the separation but they have to pay for the "pleasure". It's barbaric.

The purpose of the Equal Parenting Campaign is to make it more widely acknowledged that an equal relationship with both parents is often in the best interests of the child(ren). It's important that 50/50 shared care is considered the default position when a family splits, the family court should only be used in the rare cases where a parent is unfit, rather than as it stands at the moment, where perfectly good parents are having to fight just to be in their children's lives.

For a lot of parents worldwide; the fight can be too much and can sadly lead to some parents taking their own lives because they cannot handle the pain of being separated from their children or perhaps they have been driven into financial ruin due to unrealistic child support payments going into arrears, often it's both.

As individuals and as a society it's important we speak on the injustices, especially ones such as this, as it affects millions of people worldwide.

Equal Parenting Campaign.

The Child Maintenance Service Scandal

The following is taken from a recent article published in the Daily Express and written by former MP, Ann Widdecombe:

Today as you are reading this column yet another parent is facing jail because the Child Maintenance Service is trying to get money that it is not owed and this time that parent, to whom I have spoken, is a woman.

The prosecution barrister was so alarmed he declined to proceed, which is to his credit, but today the matter comes up in court again, where again she will be unable to present clear evidence that the calculations are badly wrong.

The list of unfair prosecutions grows alarmingly and from time to time drives parents to suicide, as it did in the case of Jonny O’Neill who posted a message on Facebook to draw attention to his situation before taking his own life.

His mother wrote to Boris Johnson who, beset with the Covid crisis, did not reply while the CMS chased the debt after his death and then wrote to thank him for his death certificate sent by his mother! Officials have admitted that they took more than 40% of wages, itself unlawful.

In another instance, in 2006 TB received a letter from the then CSA confirming he owed nothing. In 2019 the CMS, suddenly and without any change in the situation, claimed he owed arrears of £18k and took him to court where he was not able to present the 2006 letter as evidence under the provision mentioned above. So the magistrate told him to sell his house.

I will refer to her by her initials SH. When she and her husband broke up, she was in a job which involved periods away from home while he was working from home so it made sense for her to become the non-resident parent, a role overwhelmingly taken by men.

As I’ve pointed out before, the law actually stipulates that once the CMS has made an assessment it cannot be challenged in a court, however unfair or fictitious.

In short, the citizen has no redress, a situation at odds with the laws of natural justice and indeed Magna Carta itself.

In this case the sum being pursued is in excess of £20,000. That is quite bad enough but apparently the CPS came up with a new figure at her last court appearance nearer to £50,000

Appalled by the mounting evidence and the number of suicides, I wrote to Viscount Younger, the Minister in charge of the CMS, last March to ask for a meeting along with one of the groups representing the victims.

I know he got the letter because I had it delivered by an MP rather than trust the department’s postal sorting.

He never did reply. Sadly, I did not expect him to.

CMS Scandal by Ann Widdecombe

By Ann Widdecombe

The examples mentioned above are merely a drop in the water as not a day goes by without another PAPA member contacting us with an issue with the CMS or their country's equivalent.

Ann also compares the recent Post Office scandal (and subsequent TV Show: Mr Bates vs The Post Office) to the scandal that is; the Child Maintenance Service. She is absolutely right that millions of people nationwide are being persecuted by government officials who are being forced into poverty and sometimes suicide. It's in need of an urgent intervention and it's up to us to make that happen.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement in the US is perhaps even worse, with alienated parents regularly given custodial sentences in prison for failing to keep up with child support payments and with alienating parents worldwide seemingly rewarded for their behaviour.

It's clear that the system needs to change and it needs to happen as soon as possible in order to avoid the needless loss of lives.

If you can, I would like you to support a petition created by one of PAPA's members, which is asking for an inquiry into the Child Maintenance Service. You can sign and show your support here.

In need of support?

If you are reading this article and have experienced any of the above and/or need support for anything related to parental alienation then please join our growing support community, here on the PAPA website. It's completely free of charge and PAPA members can take advantage of our upcoming Resource Centre as well as our community forum and helpful articles.

At PAPA we also have a highly active Facebook support group, which has a number of dedicated chat rooms, similar to our online forum here on the website. You can join our Facebook support group here.

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